Poor, Disenfranchised, Clergy to Launch New Movement For Moral Revival of America: Leaders to Announce Historic Wave of Direct Action, Non-Violent Civil Disobedience
Washington – On Monday, 50 years to the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others called for the original Poor People’s Campaign, organizers will announce a new moral movement to challenge the enmeshed evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and America’s distorted national morality.
The Monday launch of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival by co-chairs Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis and other leaders will include the unveiling of details around six weeks of direct action next spring at statehouses and the U.S. Capitol, including plans for one of the largest waves of civil disobedience in U.S. history.
The world is a gift from God, and like a pen given by one’s father, it has special significance, because it came from him. (20 min)
The importance of marginality. Christianity started out on the margins (29 min)
In the process of wanting to shape politics and culture, they misshape themselves.
Attempts to take over culture must result in a parody of the Kingdom of God. (31 min)
I don’t think there is a single stance that Christians should make in regards to culture because culture is varied.
Love of enemy is so fundamental to the Christian faith that if one takes it out of Christianity, it is no longer Christian. (35 min)
Christianity functions as a club; and faith in Christ is becoming irrelevant. It doesn’t shape how you act.
Jesus Christ has become a moral stranger – a guy who we don’t think is good for us.
We want what he gives us but we do not know what to do with his demands.
Before: Church: no, but Christ: yes
Now: reject Christ
For the U.S.A. has the greatest home for sockeye salmon on the planet in Alaska’s Bristol Bay. The Trump administration is putting it at risk in order to aid a foreign mining conglomerate.
This American carnage is led by a man whose job is to protect the natural world within our borders, the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt. As you may have heard, he has sealed himself off from the public with a $25,000 phone security system and an 18-member security detail. It took a court order to pry loose some of the details of his meetings. No surprise, he holds daily lap-dog sessions with the companies he is supposed to regulate.
Pruitt is the swamp, the only wetland the Trump administration wants to protect. He serves the oil, chemical and mining interests that propped him up when he was attorney general of Oklahoma. He now runs the oil, chemical and mining protection agency out of Washington, with our money.
.. National monuments — not the Confederate kind that Trump wants to preserve, but special places protected in somewhat the same way as national parks — are also in his sights.
.. Half the world’s wild sockeye come from this magical place, a bounty that supports 14,000 jobs. Alaskans are a cantankerous bunch who can’t agree on much of anything. Yet they voted by an overwhelming margin in 2014 to protect Bristol Bay from a gold and copper mine that could generate 10 billion tons of toxic waste.
And unlike big food producers in the heartland, the Bristol Bay salmon industry is not propped up by subsidies, chemicals or compromised politicians.
President Trump has now been in the White House for six months, and Democrats are fairly gleeful in noting that he is: a) deeply unpopular; b) mired in scandals; and c) bereft of any legislative victories. That’s all true, but also I think too glib. Trump has been quite successful, in my view, in two areas:
- appointing conservatives to federal courts, most notably Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court; and in
- changing the regulatory landscape by removing environmental safety standards.
.. Since the 1970s we’ve seen a long-term trend toward cutting taxes and social services, and there have been a series of grim consequences: rising inequality, stagnant high school graduation rates, rising incarceration rates, rising narcotics use, stagnant earnings for the bottom half of Americans, and so on. So many national problems seem to have their roots in a cycle that started then, but I wonder if the cycle is turning.
- The failure of Trumpcare is a case where a program for the poor, Medicaid, won a political battle, and
- Kansas has shown that at some point voters prefer to raise taxes than see service cuts. More broadly,
- even conservative states like Texas have reversed themselves on mass incarceration, and high school graduation rates are again going up.
Could we be turning a corner?
.. For me, the most chilling aspect of President Trump’s interview with The Times on Wednesday was his insistence on reserving the right to fire Bob Mueller. That would be ten times bigger than firing Jim Comey, and the fact that Trump even brings it up makes me think that he fears Mueller is getting close to something the president wants hidden.